Sometimes, when you start seeing someone, they've got way more baggage than you expect. Sure, when SkyView Atlanta strolled into our hearts and our skyline two years ago, we knew we weren't its first city. The 20-story ride was born in Bern, Switzerland, then spent some time in Paris, hanging out by the Louvre. We all know what happens in Paris, the City of Love. Problems didn't really start until it moved to Pensacola, Florida. That's when it went from a free-wheelin' icon to a fugitive — at least if a Florida tax collector is to be believed.
In late June, the collector filed a 166-page lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court, alleging that SkyView's previous owners owed $237,105 in delinquent taxes and threatening to "seize" the wheel if the current owners, Atlanta Partners, didn't pay up. (SkyView is appraised at $11.3 million — but who can put a price on love?) SkyView Atlanta spokesperson Jason Evans told WSB-TV that the whole thing was "a vendetta by a public official who's up for re-election" (aka, the ol' jealous ex excuse) and that Pensacola has "always been angry that this wonderful icon left." Dramarama!
The current owners immediately paid $50,000 toward the debt but because they were never notified, said that $100,000+ in fees and penalties seemed a bit steep. On Monday, the feuding parties reached a tentative deal and hope to have a resolution in writing by the end of this week. Everyone loves a happy ending.
· Tax collector wants Atlanta Ferris wheel seized and sold [WSB-TV]
· Atlanta's SkyView Ferris wheel target of Florida tax lawsuit [AJC]
· Tax Authorities Want Atlanta's SkyView Ferris Wheel Seized To Pay Taxes [Forbes]
· Fla. tax collector wants Atlanta's giant Ferris Wheel seized for back taxes; Resolution expected this week [ABC]